Contact dermatitis is a rash caused by something your skin has come into contact with. It can make your skin sore, itchy and red (only lighter skin tones). Dermatitis isn't contagious, but it can make you feel uncomfortable and self-conscious. A common cause of dermatitis is contact with something that irritates your skin or triggers an allergic reaction — for example, poison ivy, perfume, lotion and jewelry containing nickel. Other causes of dermatitis include dry skin, a viral infection, bacteria, stress, genetic makeup and a problem with the immune system. Moisturizing regularly helps control the symptoms. Treatment may also include medicated ointments, creams and shampoos.